As of January 1st, the whole Oregon coast will be open for commercial Dungeness crabbing. It’s one of the most profitable fisheries on the west coast and, the most deadly.
Oregon’s Dungeness crab fishery is one of the most dangerous work environments in the U.S. according to National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health.
Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read is spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, which has been conducting safety courses for crab fishermen. Read says the idea is to familiarize them with equipment, including life jackets and survival suits. Crews also learn how to get into life-rafts.
Read: “Definitely a more dangerous time to be out on the ocean. Because of the sea condition, because of the weather conditions. And the Dungeness crab season just happens to be during that time frame.”
Oregon’s commercial Dungeness Crab season was delayed this year because of a toxin. Last year, despite a similar delay, Oregon crabbers netted $51 million. Crab fishermen out of Newport were recently featured in the reality TV show “Deadliest Catch.”